My generation believes in nuclear weapons like it believes in God.
The idea that humans could destroy all life within a few minutes seems so implausible, so far-off. And yet, during Christmastime 8 years ago, the French detonated 6 nuclear bombs in the South Pacific. As recently as 1998, India and Pakistan together detonated11 nuclear weapons underground.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
From "God's Grandeur," by Gerard Manley Hopkins.
Update: I should play fair and include the final stanza. Does it matter to you that Hopkins died a dejected man, deeply bitter about how his own life played out? Does it matter that I have a neat explanation which allows me to believe half of the following stanza?
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.